How Do American Airlines Miles Work?

by Carolyn
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how do American Airlines miles work

The American Airlines was founded in 1930 and is one of the three American legacy carriers. Being amongst the most prominent brands of aviation, American Airline operates in over 50 countries and 350 cities with an average of 6700 flights per day. If your airport comes under the stronghold of the American Airlines or if you’re a frequent customer, it is recommended that you get yourself acquainted with the frequent flyer American Airlines AAdvantage program. Under this program you will be able to earn and redeem miles.

What Are American Airlines Miles Worth?

Based on a recent analysis, the award miles are worth 0.8 cent a piece. To find out the value of the reward miles, the cash prices were compared with the reward redemptions of an economy class roundtrip. The cost of the cash ticket was divided by the cost of the reward ticket. This helped determine the cent per mile for each flight; the resultant value was then averaged across several dates and flights.

This is thus the baseline value of the American Airlines miles found using real data collected from various economy class routes.

In order to determine the value of your miles for a certain flight, divide the cash value of the ticket with the amount of miles required for the flight.

How to Earn AAdvantage Miles?

The AAdvantage is a frequent flyers program in which you can earn miles when you fly using the American Airlines or any of its partner airlines and through car rentals, hotel stays, dining’s vacations and various promotions. Here is a list of a few of its partner Airlines:

· British Airways · Hawaiian Airlines · American Eagle
· Alaska Airlines · Qatar Airways · SriLankan Airlines

To find out more visit the American Airlines website.

You also have the option to buy miles which is not particularly a great idea.

These miles can then be redeemed for upgrade to first class, award flights, hotel stay, car rentals and much more. Although these rewards are called “miles”, you earn them based on how much money you spend on buying tickets and not how far you fly.

If you do not earn or redeem any points for 18 months, the miles will expire. However, if these miles were earned based on an American Airlines credit card, then the miles will remain valid as long as you continue using the card.

Earning AAdvantage Miles

Earning on American

The number of miles you earn from a certain flight depends on the amount you pay for the ticket. If you have reached the AAdvantage elite status, you will earn bonus miles for each trip that you make.

Here is a list of miles earned based on your status level:

  • Gold: 7 miles earned per $1 spent
  • Platinum: 8 miles per $1 spent
  • Platinum pro: 9 miles per $1 spent
  • Executive Platinum: 11 miles per $1 spent

Note: Government based taxes and fees do not earn you miles.

Earning on Partner Airlines

Under the OneWorld alliance, American Airlines partner airlines distribute miles to its customers based on the class tickets that you have booked. You will only earn 25-50% of flown miles if you have bought the cheapest economy ticket. In case of 1st class or business class, you will earn 100% base miles and main cabin bonus starting from 10% and going up to 50%.

However, the biggest drawback is that these conditions do not apply to all flights and routes. If the booking code of your flight is not eligible for awards, you will not earn any miles from your flight.

Earning Points Using a Credit Card

The most favorite co-branded credit card for the AAdvantage program is the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.

With the help of this card, you get 2 miles for every $1 spent on all eligible flight ticket purchases. Furthermore, you are also given a sign up bonus to start with i.e.: Earn 50,000 miles after making purchases worth $2500 within the first 3 months of opening your account.

The annual fee for this card in 99$ which is nothing compared to the benefits of the card.

Earning Miles Through Other Partners

Dining: Once you have registered your credit card with AAdvantage Dining, you will earn around 1-5 miles per $1 spent at the participating bar, restaurant or club.

Hotels: You can earn miles by spending money at most of the major hotel chains. In some cases you will earn around 1-2 miles and in others, you may a flat # of miles. View the list of some partner hotels here.

Shopping: If you are shopping online through the AAdvantage eshopping mall, you will earn miles for every dollar that you spend. This offer is valid for over 950 retailers.

Vacations: If you decide to book a hotel or a flight through AA vacations, you will earn extra miles.

Cruises: Similarly, booking a cruise through AA Cruise will help you earn 3 miles for every dollar spent.

Auto Rentals: Some of the major car rental agencies give you the option to earn AAdvantage miles.

Buying AAdvantage Miles

If you have certain international awards in mind, buying miles through the AA website can work to your advantage. However, it is best if you avoid buying miles as it is the most expensive way to get them. There are plenty of ways as mentioned above to earn a great # of miles.

A general cost of miles is 2.95 cents per each mile but the airline offers occasional sales and discounts. Even then, purchasing miles should be your very last option.

Redeeming Miles

You can redeem your earned miles by going to the AA website. If a certain airline does not show up on their website, you can call the Airline office and ask for a waiver on your booking fee.

Check the region based award chart before redeeming your miles.

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